While lifting the feet of the colossus of King Amenhotep III, Tutankhamun's grandfather, in his funerary Luxor temple, a European-Egyptian archaeology team accidentally unearthed a statue of his wife and Tutankhamun's grandmother Queen Tiye, The Sunday Times reports.

The 3,300-year-old statue was found in good condition, with its ancient colours well preserved. It shows Queen Tiye wearing a vulture headdress usually worn by pharaonic queens, in addition to the rearing cobra, which is a symbol of ancient Egypt.

"Beautiful, unique, and distinguished" is how Egypt's antiquities Minister Khaled El-Anani described the statue to The Sunday Times. El-Anani has been having a busy few weeks with the achievement of countless archaeological discoveries in Egypt, including the unearthing of the colossus of King Psamtek I in Matariya two weeks ago, and that of an intact burial chamber, belonging to King Sarenput II, which was discovered in Aswan by a Spanish archaeological mission last week.

Photo: The Sunday Times